In view of recent threats to peace, security and national cohesion, the Middle Belt Forum convened a Leaders’ Conference on Thursday, 22nd June 2017 at New World Hotel, Jabi-Abuja, to find viable and durable solutions for our living together in peace, security and harmony, within the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
After intensive deliberations on factors, str
uctures, systems and forces behind Nigeria’s chronic instability, the Conference considered and passed the following Resolutions:
In a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious country like Nigeria, the federal system makes enormous sense, because it allows the federating units to fully look after their local affairs and develop at their own pace, Therefore, we hereby renew our loyalty, love and strong support for a United Federal Republic of Nigeria.
We call for a halt to all separatist agitations to allow the restructuring campaigns and initiatives to run their full course. Irrespective of whatever this Administration does or fail to do about restructuring, the 2019 elections should be seen and seized as an opportunity to elect candidates who are committed to restructuring and the implementation of the 2014 National Conference recommendations. We call for a realignment and unity of all progressive forces to rescue Nigeria from a slide into chaos.
However, we are resolute of the view that the current federal structure is unbalanced, unfair, over-centralized and therefore unstable. Accordingly, we firmly support the demand to restructure the federation, together with the appropriate devolution of powers to the federating units and a new revenue allocation formula to capture the new realities.
Since these fundamental matters were considered and resolved at the 2014 National Conference, we urge the Federal Government to take appropriate and urgent steps to ensure full implementation of resolutions and recommendations contained in the CONFERENCE REPORT. We believe that a faithful and effective implementation of those recommendations will promote peace, harmony and greater security, thereby giving Nigeria a new lease of life.
We denounce, in strongest possible terms, recent calls and threats to Nigerians from the South-East living in the northern States of Nigeria, to move back to their areas of origin. Being free, equal and legitimate citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, such calls on south-easterners are totally unconstitutional and unacceptable. We urge the Federal and State Governments to take effective steps to ensure the safety and security of all Nigerians, wherever they may choose to reside.
Whereas we love Nigeria and all Nigerians, we are constrained to make it abundantly clear that, in the catastrophic event of other components of Nigeria insisting on separating from Nigeria, we resolutely wish to remain and continue to be the Federal Republic of Nigeria, with our Capital at Abuja.
We condemn the murderous activities of the Fulani herdsmen in the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria. We call on the Federal Government and Governments of the affected States to step up security measures to curb this menace.
Similarly, we call on the Federal Government and Governments of the relevant States to rescue the remaining Chibok girls and resettle our people of Southern Borno and other Internally Displaced Persons in their ancestral land and homes.
This Conference most profoundly appeals to leaders of various communities and components of Nigeria, to continue to mutually and tirelessly work together for peace, reconciliation, social justice and harmony, so as to build a free, peaceful, secure, and democratic society, with a vibrant and diversified economy, and a bright future for all Nigerians.
Mr. John Dara
Middle Belt Forum